Three Fabulous, Green Bathrooms

They look distinctly different, but these private spaces have something in common—they're all as environmentally friendly as they are beautiful.

| September/October 2005

Modern Marvel: Gorgeous and green in Boulder, Colorado

When Annette Stelmack, a senior designer with Associates III in Denver, Colorado, was hired to help make an awkward, disjointed 1950s home more functional, she wasn’t asked to take on the master bathroom. She quickly realized, however, that the poorly designed space had to be improved.

Stelmack made the room feel larger by tearing down walls to create an open space and installing frosted-glass doors that allow natural light to flood the room. The liberal use of mirrors and glass, including the homeowner’s collection of beautiful perfume bottles, reflect light and expand the room.

“From a design standpoint, the inspiration was their artwork and glass,” Stelmack says. “It’s a luxurious space, but it’s also a quiet space. Although this home is contemporary, it has a softness—it’s not hard-edged.”

In addition to being more visually pleasing, the new space is also filled with practical improvements. His-and-hers closets on either side of the bathroom provide abundant storage. Hidden behind the mirror, which includes a defogging device, are six-inch-deep medicine cabinets that create room to hide small appliances and toiletries.

All of this, and the room is environmentally friendly. From the undyed hemp rug to the efficient fixtures, the designers paid attention to every detail. Longtime environmentalists, the Boulder homeowners eagerly agreed with Associates III’s commitment to sustainability. Stelmack says not everyone is so quick to jump on the bandwagon because many people have outdated perceptions about what earth-friendly design looks like. “People still say, ‘You mean it’s not granola and Birkenstocks anymore?’” she laughs. “The misconception is it has to look earthy. Really beautiful things can be sustainable and create a healthy environment.”

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